22.03.2013 -

PRESS RELEASE : UNESCO celebrates World Water Day

“Water, water everywhere, only if we share”


Today UNESCO celebrates World Water Day, as part of the 2013 United Nations International Year of Water Cooperation and guided by the slogan “water, water everywhere, only if we share”.

The potential for water cooperation is great and its benefits, whether in economic, social or environmental terms, are considerable. Cooperation however remains crucial to ensure the sustainable and equitable distribution of water, but also to foster and maintain peaceful relations within and among communities.

2013: the United Nations International Year of Water Cooperation

The objective of the International Year is to raise awareness, both on the potential for increased cooperation and on the challenges facing water management in light of the increase in demand for water access, allocation and services. During the Year successful water cooperation initiatives will be highlighted and burning issues on water education, water diplomacy, trans boundary water management, financing cooperation and legal frameworks will be identified.

UNESCO as coordinator

Water challenges are complex and solutions must be equally multi-faceted. UNESCO’s coordination in the International Year of Water Cooperation is in view of the Organization’s multi-dimensional mandate in natural and social sciences, culture, education and communication. UNESCO pursues a wide angle, drawing on its International Hydrological Programme as well as its 29 water-related Chairs and 18 water-related centres, such as the UNESCO IHE-Institute for Water Education in the Netherlands, which has trained 15,000 water professionals from 160 countries since 1957.

Water cooperation is not only a technical or scientific issue. It is also about fighting poverty and protecting the environment. It is about laying the foundations for sustainable development and lasting peace.

Additional information:

  • United Nations International Year of Water Cooperation: www.unwater.org
  • UNESCO media contact: Agnès Bardon, a.bardon@unesco.org Tel: +33(0)1 45 68 17 64

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